June marks the halfway point in the year, and what an eventful year it’s been!
If you’ve missed any news stories from the last month, we’re sharing some of the key contractor news below.
IR35 reforms edge closer to reality
In last month’s news roundup, we looked at the amendment to the Finance Bill which took place on the 19th May. This amendment suggested a further postponement of the IR35 reforms by two years, however this was defeated by the Government as it was deemed as unnecessary.
With the reforms now deferred until April 2021, many hoped that the reforms would be further postponed before their implementation. These hopes were soon diminished, after MPs approved the revised rollout date of the reforms on the 18th June, at the Committee Stage of the Finance Bill.
This was not the final opportunity for MPs to table amendments to the reforms, however, as they voiced their opinions during the Report Stage of the Finance Bill. The amendment was put to a vote on the 1st July, and a majority of 317 voted against it.
With the planned IR35 reforms coming into effect in less than twelve months and no further opportunities to amend the implementation date, companies in the private sector should prioritise preparing to ensure a smooth transition.
Confidence in hiring begins to bounce back
It is not a surprise that there has been a downward trend in the number of people hired over recent months. However there is good news to share, the last month has shown that this trend may be slowly reversing.
According to the latest JobsOutlook survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, employers’ hiring intentions improved over the last month. During the first half of June, employer confidence in the UK economy sat at -46, an improvement from May’s figure of -62.
The survey also revealed that over the next few months, many employers are planning to expand their workforce, opening a wave of job vacancies through the need to fill these roles.
There is also a positive trend for the temporary workforce, as hiring intentions also improved during June.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closes to new applicants
Announced earlier this year, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was implemented to assist businesses in paying employees that otherwise may have been laid off as a result of the pandemic.
Under this scheme, businesses are currently able to access grants of 80% of their employees’ wages up to a total of £2,500 per month, per furloughed employee. The guidelines are set to change slightly each month until October 2020.
The scheme has closed to new entrants from the 30th June 2020, no new applicants are able to take advantage of this scheme. Employers can only furlough employees that have been furloughed for a full three-week period prior to this date, meaning that eligible parties must have been furloughed before the 10th June 2020 to claim under the CJRS.
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